‘We need to entice other airlines to service Japan route’
Tasi Tours director Masato Tezuka wants the administration of Ralph DLG Torres to lure other carriers to fly the CNMI skies now, even as the Commonwealth prepares for the pullout of Delta Air Lines in May.
“Delta is one of the mega global airlines in the world and their business strategy is more focused on the corporate market than the leisure market,” he said.
“But if we can promote other airlines which shows interest in the leisure market from Japan to Saipan, there will be a big possibility for the Japanese market to come back again,” he added.
Tezuka believes that Delta’s shift from targeting leisure market to corporate market is the reason for suspending flights to Guam and soon to Saipan and Palau.
“Since Delta’s focus market has changed, I can understand the reason for pulling out their business in the Micronesia area, including Guam, Saipan, and Palau. Since the decision is based on a business strategy, the CNMI government will find difficulty changing Delta’s direction,” he said.
Tezuka said there are many things about Saipan that makes it an ideal destination for Japanese tourists.
“If you think about it, Saipan has a lot to offer to the Japanese market. The travel from Japan to Saipan is only three hours flight time, beautiful nature including ocean and mountains, new investments on infrastructure by the private sector, destination enhancement projects of the Marianas Visitors Authority and, most importantly, the long relationship and history between Japan and Saipan, “he said.
“I believe that we can reconstruct the tourism market from Japan to the CNMI. Tasi Tours is committed to working with MVA with the aim to entice the Japanese market to return to Saipan,” he added.
In a recent interview with MVA managing director Chris Concepcion, he said the upcoming pullout of Delta on Saipan will not discontinue promotions of CNMI tourism in Japan.
“The Japan market is too valuable for us to lose sight of, so we will not. We are not cutting back on any promotion for the Japan market. MVA will continue with our plans,” he said.